Aurora Australis

Aurora Australis: New Stories and Superstitious Covers

Welcome back to Aurora Australis! This month, we have new novels and new covers. We have anthologies and graphic novels. We have awards nominees and we have sad news…

We have a new publisher! Well, we have a new imprint. PS Publishing is setting up shop in the antipodes, with PS Australia. Jack Dann is the managing director and their first anthology is due later this year. Dreaming in the Dark features a who’s who of Australian talent: from Alan Baxter to Kim Wilkins, Lisa L Hannett and Sean Williams, the anthology is going to be one to watch out for, as is appropriate for the third in the “anthology triptych” begun with (World Fantasy Award winning) Dreaming Down Under.

Very exciting news for Greg Egan fans: a new novel is coming our way next year! Night Shade Books will be releasing the stand-alone (boo) Dichronauts, set in a universe whose geometry is different from ours (yay!). Looking forward to seeing the cover for that, and getting my paws on a copy.

UnknownSpeaking of… Cover reveeeeeal! Ben Peek’s third novel, The Eternal Kingdom (following on from The Godless and Leviathan’s Blood) has a cover now. And it is well pretty. And compelling. Who doesn’t love a foreboding bridge and people in fur and armour? AND another cover reveal courtesy of Thoraiya Dyer and Tor, this one for Dyer’s Crossroads of Canopy; that link will take you to the Tor article where Dyer discusses the superstitions about green covers. Crossroads of Canopy is the first of the Titan’s Forest trilogy and will be out in January 2017.

In other cover news, David McDonald recently posted a picture of a Captain America book called Sub Rosa with his name emblazoned on the front. No news yet as to when that will be hitting the stands….

Text Publishing will have just released Tim Hehi’s Julius and the Soul-catcher when you read this, and they’re also re-releasing the first in the series—Julius and the Watchmaker (2013)—at the same time. In the first, Julius Higgins is spirited away from his grandfather’s bookshop in nineteenth-century London to help a mysterious gentleman find the diary of “the greatest watchmaker of all time.” Which sounds intriguing all by itself, but—in case the twelve-year-old crowd aren’t really into horology—all is not as it seems: the diary is actually a time machine manual. The sequel is set in 1838, when London is “gripped by orchid fever” and Julius comes across Charles Darwin’s diary, which is (of course) not as it seems. This series could be a great way to encourage middle grade readers to be interested in science and history. Also from Text and mentioned as forthcoming a few columns ago, Darrell Pitt’s A Toaster on Mars has also recently been released; it’s touted as being for “fans of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams.”

Kosa Press is publishing Interspecies, following on from the anthology These Broken Worlds, which imagined a world where only Australia and New Zealand were left inhabitable. It’s been co-written by MJ Kelley, Woelf Dietrich, Elaine Chao and Dana Leipold. The authors are hoping to put out at least two more such shared-world anthologies.

Paper Road Press has announced that Paul Mannering’s Pisces of Fate is now available in paperback; it’s the sequel to Engines of Empathy. And Marie Hodgkinson, one of the people behind Paper Road, was also involved in the Kickstarter campaign for At the Edge, edited by Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray, which was recently funded—it’s going to be published on 2 June. Meanwhile, Nix Whittaker’s Blazing Blunderbuss—“Airships, dragons, and pirates. Oh my!” is also now available. (It’s the first in Whittaker’s Wyvern Chronicles.)

TSS-Final-cover-669x1024It’s always exciting when an established author comes back to what they’re loved for. Ian Irvine, after a long time away from his Three Worlds Cycle, is returning with The Summon Stone; Hachette promises that it is good for both new readers and old. The focus is on the cruel Medrun, “blooded by thousands of years of slaughter”, who are gathering for a fight; and the connection accidentally forged between their leader and a nine-year-old girl through their dreams.

We’re well into awards season now! The Shirley Jackson nominees have been released, with Deborah Kalin and Tamsyn Muir both getting nods in the novelette category for “The Briskwater Mare” (Cherry Crow Children) and “The Deepwater Bride” (Magazine of F&SF) respectively. The Locus Award finalists were released, too, with Greg Egan’s “The Four Thousand, the Eight Hundred” (Asimov’s 12/15) recognised in Novella, Jonathan Strahan for his anthology Meeting Infinity and in the Editor category, and Letters to Tiptree (ed. Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein) in Non-Fiction.

The David Gemell Awards longlists are up, and there two Aussies in the Legends category: Trudi Canavan and Glenda Larke. In the Ravenheart category, Mark Ferrari is up for Peter M Ball’s The Flotsam Trilogy Omnibus and Steve Stone for The Dagger’s Path by Glenda Larke.

It is necessary to end this column on a slightly sad note. Nick Stathopoulos, a well-loved artist whose work has included many book covers, has announced that his cover for Terry Dowling’s The Night Shop will be his last. It’s a sad moment for the books, but hopefully will allow Stathopoulos to go on concentrating on the other amazing art he creates.

Alexandra Pierce reads, teaches, blogs, podcasts, cooks, knits, runs, eats, sleeps, and observes the stars. Not necessarily in that order of priority. She is a Christian, a feminist, and an Australian. She can be found at her website, and on the Galactic Suburbia podcast.

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